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Mk4 1993 high top camper called Tupsu

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Mk4 1993 high top camper called Tupsu

Postby ehheee » Mon Oct 19, 2020 4:20 pm

Hello all!

Long story ahead so those who dont wish to read much can skip lower to my technical questions :D
More than 5 attachments were not allowed so added some pictures as urls. Sorry for the inconvenience.

First of all wanted to let you know that this is a brilliant forum! Havent posted so far, but have already aquired a ton of good information from here. As a non-native speaker I must say its sometimes hard to understand british words and slang about cars :D. I dont even know some of the right words in my own language so please be gentle.

So in the beginning of the summer I impulse bought a 1993 mk4 short wheel base? high top campervan. Its a westfalia conversion. Im not the biggest car specialist on earth so I just checked for major rust and test drove to hear the engine and suspension. Everything seemed nice enough. Obviously some rust here and there but I did plan to invest in it over time to get it mostly rust free and in mechanically good condition. I dont need a bright and shiny car so figured I will do as much bodywork as I can by myself so I have knowledge of the vehicle and can touch it up later when problems start to rise again.

So far I have driven 6000km with it. Only the alternator has failed twice. Once cause of the brushes and once cause of the diode block. Apparently too much draw on the alternator somehow...
Managed to run it out of fuel once. 1km before a gas station that was on the other side of a ferry ride I didnt make. So had to rollerskate 10km back for diesel and got it running nicely by bleeding only thr injectors.

It's a 59kw 2.5 banana. Vin plate is in german and also has german highway/camping stickers on it. In 2017 it was brought to estonia from lithuania and I have it since June. Dont know anything else about the history. All yearly inspections have gone nicely and probably will next year as well. There was rust near the suspension mounting point on the beam behind the front bumper and the steering rack was apparently leaking. Had those fixed in a shop. They also changed the stabiliser arms and propshaft bearing as those where a bit tired. Not too bad for an unknown car 27 years old. Most of the body panels Ive seen are original and stamped 1992.





A year ago when pondering a camper I was joking that a plain white Transit is like the most boring option of them all. But I have to say the mk4 is beautiful. By far the prettiest and slickest Transit in my opinion. It has that classic 90s beginning design that I love. So Ive grown to really like my vehicle. Its reliable and nice and I think I want to keep it alive for as far and as properly as I can. I call it Tupsu, its actually a she and Tupsu is a slang for something cute in my language.

So the 2.5di is noisy obviously. So I figured I would start to put some sound insulation on the front floor and arches and doorsteps. The floor seemed nice enough from above and below, but behind the plastic coverings there was rustholes in the doorsteps. Seems to be a classic story here so I bought new steps and a welder, but didnt do enough research here to know that I might also have to replace the sills and wings. Im literally working outside in front of a shed and would love to not take too much stuff off as I also live in the van and the winter is pressing on so I cant do too much paintwork on the outside. I can heat up the inside of the bus and on sunnier warmer days I hope I can cover the small places around welds that are outside.

The brown area where the feet rest is not rust, but some presumably original sound deading :D. Made more sound to hit this than hitting plain metal.

To my unexperienced eye, the other parts seem well enough. I plan on getting away by opening the seams around the rust, cleaning, putting on antirust, grind that off, put on welding primer and weld everything back together with the new doorsteps.

After removing the old metal I discovered that the sill under the door is full of soil??. There doesnt seem to be a way to get it out and the inner sill is not the prettiest so I figured I will cut and bend a new inner sill. This way, i can clean it out, brush the outer sill from the inside and seal it all with wax. First of all is that a very stupid plan. Im happy if it all lasts at least for like 3 years. After that Im willing to redo all the parts there if I need to. It would actually be even easier if I dont have to open the 4 panel cross joints so carefully that has been designed there :D I just dont have the time, resources or a better placr right now. All this work will surely better than none, right?

This place worries me.

There was a small panel there covering the inside of the wing but it was rusted and I cut it out. I can weld a new patch there, but I cant get the rusy totally out from there without removing everything.

Second question is: Should I start supporting the van somehow if I continue my work. I plan on taking off the inner sill from these places and then open these spotwelds to remove the final place of the doorstep I want to cut off.
Is my van getting too weak this way to carry its load?
Cool if you read this through. Hope somebody can give some good advice.
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Re: Mk4 1993 high top camper called Tupsu

Postby RustWidow » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:25 pm

I’m not techie, but you have a lovely van there, good luck in keeping her on the road and getting her repaired
Old Fords Never Die - some fool keeps repairing them
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Re: Mk4 1993 high top camper called Tupsu

Postby hetman » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:07 am

Congratulations on owning a superb Westfalia Transit! I'd love to have one! From the pictures, yours is in marvelous shape; my 1995 high-top conversion had much, much worse rust everywhere. I don't think you need extra support when cutting out the sills, since most of the weight of the van would be on the frame elements of the van, which is quite strong.
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